health. you consider her your savior? your hero? a lot of different words? >> very much so. very much so. >> reporter: but in a terrible twist of fate, julie's father, richard kern, had also begun to experience kidney failure. she asked the program if the kidney she had promised to donate could go to him, but under the rules, her kidney had eo go to the next person on the list. in a coincidence that the transplant doctors say was astounding, next in line was her father and their kidneys were a perfect match. >> i was just flabbergasted. i -- i've never seen anything like that in 28 years in the transplant field. >> reporter: dr. steven bartlett, head of surgery at the university of maryland, has performed about 3,000 kidney transplants, including richard kern's. if julie stitt had not given her father her kidney, where would he be today? >> waiting on the transplant waiting list as an elderly diabetic man, there's a lot of risk for him.